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Pattern of activation of human antigen presenting cells by genotype GII.4 norovirus virus-like particles

Eleonora Ponterio1, Annacarmen Petrizzo2, Ilaria Di Bartolo1, Franco Maria Buonaguro2, Luigi Buonaguro2 and Franco Maria Ruggeri1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, V.le Regina Elena, 299, 00161, Rome, Italy

2 Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Viral Oncology, Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori “Fondazione Pascale” - IRCCS, Via Mariano Semmola 142, Naples, 80131, Italy

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2013, 11:127  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-127

Published: 24 May 2013



Virus-like particles (VLPs) from an Italian GII.4 norovirus strain were used to investigate activation and maturation of circulating antigen presenting cells (APCs) of human origin.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from five healthy subjects were pulsed ex vivo with VLPs, and stained with a set of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for phenotypic analysis by flow cytometry. Cytokine release in cell supernatants was investigated by ELISA.


Norovirus VLPs induced activation and maturation of circulating APCs derived from the five donors, as well as production of IL-6, IFN-γ and TNF-α cytokines.


The present results suggest that VLPs can activate antigen presenting cells for an efficient induction of the adaptive immune response.

Norovirus; Immunology; PBMCs; VLPs